The most beautiful scenery combined with the most lung busting exercise you will ever try. It may seem like a short distance with very little ascent but wait until you've tried it on Cross Country Skis and you'll never look at a few flat kilometres in the same way again!

In Norway they created a national sport that is harder than running, slower than walking and can only be done in winter. It sounds insane but is actually amazing fun and complete beginners can pick it up in a few minutes - XCountry skiing!

Throughout the Geilo ski resort are the parallel tracks that your skis slot into. They are graded similarly to ski runs:

  • Green is suitable for beginners with a maximum 100m ascent and a maximum distance of 5km and no steep hills
  • Blue runs can have up to 300m ascent and are up to 10km in distance
  • Red runs are deceived as only for 'experienced skiers in fine form' with up to 600m ascent and up to 20km long

From the start point, head south out of the car park and down the footpath. After 100m you will see the tracks- place your skis into them and head west. This green route takes you all around the frozen fjord. It's a green route but if you're new to this sport, some of those little hills can be seriously tricky. To navigate the whole lake could take a few hours and even in the middle of winter I was sweating within ten minutes.

In summer, this would make a beautiful trail run around the lake and don't forget to pack your swimming gear as you can take a dip halfway round.

If you do the whole figure of eight loop it equals around 15kms. As a first time XCountry skier it took me two separate efforts to complete the whole loop and I needed a sit down and a piece of cake at the end of both.

Pack List


XCountry skis (these can be hired on their own or alongside alpine skis/snowboard at the ski lifts)

Plenty of water

Breathable clothing

Sun glasses

Trail map (pick one up from the tourist information in the centre of Geilo)

Snacks for energy


Running shoes / hiking shoes


Swimming costume / trunks

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RT Distance 9 Miles
Elevation Gain 984.3 Feet
Activities Skiing
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Winter
Trail Type Loop
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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